AOL HD is continuing its march into your living room with its latest announcement that it will start pushing content to connected boxes. Now that doesn't mean that everything will instantly have an AOL video button or app, but so far, they are targeting the major players in the Internet TV device market.
The new announcement sees them taking both audio and video to the living room in what is probably going to be a series of apps and widgets. They named Boxee, Roku, Yahoo and DivX as partners, which sounds like they'll be making apps and, in the Yahoo TV case, widgets.
This is a great move for AOL, who already owns ShoutCast and Winamp meaning they've got the basics of content pushing and playing. Well, more than the basics. It's about the only product I personally use for streaming audio.
Content mentioned thus far includes the Huffington Post, Engadget and Moviefone. They state there will be three channels – Entertainment, Technology and Home – with more to come over time.
Makes me wonder why they haven't been named in talks to pick up Hulu which might really bolster their online video offerings.
I asked Robert DelaCruz, General Manager for AOL HD, about this new initiative to get a finer focus on what they're hoping to achieve, here's what he had to say.
Who is AOL HD hoping to pull in with this new initiative?
We wanted to engage the early adopters of these platforms with brands they are very familiar with like, Engadget, Huffington Post and Moviefone but also wanted to introduce them to other great AOL content like Translogic and Home Improvement with Eric Stromer. Our initial channels (Technology, Entertainment and Home) leverage AOL's content strengths and align very nicely with the content needs of our partner platforms ultimately enabling us to attract the majority of their users.
Are Internet TV and connected devices becoming a major factor in AOL online video projects?
Yes, TV audiences are much more likely to engage with content over extended periods of time vs on their computers. This type of engagement lends itself to long form and episodic content.
Is AOL working on apps for each of these devices or just allowing access?
We are building customized apps for each of the platforms that support apps. Our customized approach allows us to provide a more compelling experience to our users.
Any word on other apps/access for the future?
We are working on additional connected TV platforms, which we expect to roll out in the coming months.
As far as I'm concerned, they should definitely be speaking with Samsung because, as I have stated in the past, I think they have the most cohesive strategy in regards to streaming video to their connected devices and I think it has the potential to be a large audience for content providers like AOL.
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